Full-Time MBA Program

Experiential Learning

It Doesn’t Get More Real
At the Merage School, you have plenty of opportunities for translating knowledge into action. Our field projects and competitions are unique from those offered at other MBA schools. For example, companies who would have otherwise hired professional consultants have long turned to the Merage School for MBA business expertise. And in our competitions, students can not only win money, but they can make money as well.


The Merage MBA Field Project
As a second year student, you can participate in the Merage MBA Field Project where you will be asked to address current business challenges in southern California-based global companies. You will work in a team, directly with company employees on a 10-week corporate project, while receiving guidance from a faculty expert. Iveta Brigis, 2007 Merage School graduate, says this about the Field Project: “One of the most memorable experiences I had was consulting with the marketing department of a large format printer company. We did a social network analysis of their department. The best part was they said that we really helped them out and that they adopted some of our recommendations.”


The Business Plan Competition
One way to make your dream a reality is to enter The Business Plan Competition. Open to all UC Irvine students, faculty and researchers, coaches and teams compete for substantial cash prizes and gain recognition for the most compelling business plans, as well as receive potential seed financing of up to $1 million. The six winners of the 2007 competition received $15,000 to launch their new business and are now actively formalizing their company.


The Polaris Project Investment Competition
If you want to gain a practical understanding of publicly-traded companies and get hands-on experience with making investments and stock purchases using real money, you should consider the Polaris Project. At the end of this investment competition, you and each of the members in your team actually get to keep a portion of the money you make on the market – up to $12,000. As Craig Young, 2008 Merage Graduate, says, “This is the only investment competition that I know of where you can walk away with cash.”


Social Responsibility Initiative
Students have the opportunity to consult for Non-Profit organizations through the Social Responsibility Initiative, contributing to the community while gaining valuable real-world consulting experience. As a program of the Center for Global Leadership and Team Development, the Social Responsibility Initiative (SRI) emphasizes the importance of corporate and personal responsibility in the community. The SRI pairs MBA student teams with local non-profit organizations needing project-based consulting. The consulting engagement culminates in a report and recommendations on the issues faced by each non-profit.


Resources

The Paul Merage School of Business offers six Centers of Excellence that provide numerous opportunities for you to collaborate, work, and learn from business leaders and entrepreneurs.


The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship fosters a connection among researchers, visionaries, business leaders, and venture capitalists. You can become involved in one of the many exciting programs offered through the Center, and enhance your own entrepreneurial tendencies. Programs offered include a business plan competition, a venture capital investment competition, an entrepreneurial skills workshop series, a breakfast speaker series and one-on-one consulting.


The Center for Global Leadership and Team Development enables you to enhance your business and leadership skills. Through a variety of programs, the Center allows you to develop personal and managerial skills, to work directly with an executive mentor and to learn valuable lessons in leadership and ethics. One of the most notable programs offered by the Center is the Distinguished Speaker Series, which brings prominent C-level speakers to campus. Recent speakers have included the president of the Disneyland Resort and the CEOs of Mattel, Allergan, Ingram Micro and Volvo Cars of North America.


The Center for Real Estate serves as a forum to discuss and solve current and future real estate industry issues. It is the only one of its kind in southern California that is fully incorporated within the business school. Programs offered through the Center include a breakfast speaker series and an annual lifetime achievement award. Courses are offered through the business school in real estate finance, capital markets and development. Additional courses are offered through affiliated faculty members in areas such as urban planning, environment, legal issues and public policy.


The Center for Investment and Wealth Management embraces the complexities of creation, management and intergenerational transfer of wealth. We draw on expertise from business leaders and university scholars as we mentor, teach and advise students in the community. The Center provides the impetus for discussion and study of critical industry issues. You can also specialize your MBA through our elective course offerings in Financial Planning, Investments and Wealth Management.


The Center for Health Care Management and Policy communicates important health care issues from financial, marketing, organizational, technological, legal and economic perspectives. If your career has a health care focus, you will benefit from our lengthy record of innovation and discovery in the health care industry. Programs offered through the Center include an annual Health Care Forecast Conference and a health care industry speaker series.


The Center for Research on Information Technology and Organization brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines to study social and managerial issues related to technology. Researchers are currently studying how web services impact business, how companies can embrace technology and how IT transforms the way we live, work and play. The Center is supported by such organizations as IBM, Microsoft, Conexant, Canon, Intel, and the Department of Defense.